Miller shows he is also fast in the wet

12/09/2014

San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix begins with two free practice sessions featuring rain. Miller places third on the combined timesheet and Hanika thirteenth.

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The weather conditions did not make things easy for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders on the first day at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. However, the rain present in both free practice sessions today could not prevent Jack Miller from going third fastest in both runouts. Karel Hanika, thirteenth on the combined timesheet for the day, was riding for the first time in such conditions in the Moto3 class.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo had to deal with a wet track right from the start at the Italian track. Miller immediately felt comfortable, always among the fastest. Third in the session with a time of 1:56.334, the Australian had a small crash in the last minute at Turn 8 but escaped unharmed. Hanika, much less experienced in the wet, placed thirteenth with a 1:59.243 lap.

In the afternoon the track conditions worsened, accompanied by heavy rain. This created doubts for riders like Miller, who preferred to sit out the start of the second session. Hanika preferred to gain experience in the wet, although he would crash at Turn 6 with 23 minutes remaining and be forced out of the rest of the run. The Czech rider suffered damage to his ring finger on his left hand but will still be able to participate tomorrow. Meanwhile, Miller only needed eight minutes to make the red helmets appear on the timing screens and take the third fastest time of the session. The Aussie ended the afternoon as he did the morning, with a light crash.

Tomorrow sees the thirteenth qualifying session of the year. So far Jack Miller has taken six pole positions and three additional front row starts.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:55.049
2. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:56.103 +1.054
3. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.334 +1.285
4. Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra) 1:57.562 +2.513
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:57.728 +2.679
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.243 +4.194

 

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The track was very slippery today, so I’ve had a couple of minor crashes; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was not our best day, but it was fun. The truth is that I really enjoyed riding in the rain and the bike sliding. It is not something common and was entertaining. We did not want to crash, of course, but I’m still pretty happy with the feeling that we had on the bike because this year we had not had a fully wet session.

I used only the last 10 minutes of the second session, and I noticed a big difference to the morning. I am very pleased with how the bike responded and I felt great with the setup. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be better. It’s good to have a session in the rain, but we do not want it to be wet throughout the weekend.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I think this was the first time I’ve ridden in a completely wet session this season and with this bike. The truth is that the two sessions did not go badly. In the first practice we built up slowly, learning as we rode more laps and gaining a good feeling. At the end we were not so far off the top, so I’m satisfied.

In the second practice session we started about the same, in the same position and still pretty fast. On one of the corners I was getting a little more on gas than was necessary, one of the wheels slid out and I went into the gravel. I’ve done some damage to my ring finger, but I am convinced that tomorrow I can ride again.”

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